Correspondent, Chicago
James's Feed
Jan 30, 2014

Harley-Davidson profit rise fails to rev up investors

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a higher quarterly profit on Thursday, lifted by growing global motorcycle sales, while its preliminary 2014 shipment forecast suggested its efforts to reach non-traditional riders will continue to gain traction.

The results initially sent its shares up as much as 4 percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, before they gave up those gains to trade down 0.6 percent at $63.65.

Jan 27, 2014

What emerging market meltdown? Caterpillar more worried about Europe

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc said on Monday it remained upbeat about the outlook for China, even as concerns about the world’s second-largest economy and other developing countries triggered another sharp selloff in global financial markets.

The comments came as Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, reported better-than-expected earnings, lifted in part by another strong quarter of construction equipment sales in China.

Jan 27, 2014

Caterpillar tops estimate, sees gains in 2014; stock up

Jan 27 (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc posted a
stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday as cost cuts
and an uptick in demand for its building equipment offset
continued weak sales to the mining industry.

The results, together with a better-than-estimated
preliminary profit forecast for 2014 and a new $10 billion share
repurchase plan, sent Caterpillar’s stock up as much as 7
percent in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dec 24, 2013

The trouble with forward guidance: James Saft

By James and Saft

(Reuters) – Keeping your word is hard, and people simply hate it when you don’t, something that central bankers enamored of the vogue for “forward guidance” may soon learn.

The Federal Reserve put forward guidance – essentially a pledge or promise to keep policy within certain parameters for a set period of time or given certain conditions being met – at the center of its strategy for keeping control over market interest rates while withdrawing from bond buying. In announcing a $10 billion per month taper, or reduction in bond buying last week, the Fed sweetened the medicine by hardening forward guidance to indicate that rates could remain near zero “well beyond” the time unemployment drops below 6.5 percent so long as inflation remains below a 2 percent target.

Dec 20, 2013

Analysis: In U.S., ‘animal spirits’ remain leashed as cash flows to shareholders

CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – It’s official: 2013 will be the second-biggest year in history for U.S. corporate share repurchases, though the “shareholder friendly” moves are beginning to give some economists and investors the jitters.

Just this week, 3M (MMM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Boeing (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) alone authorized as much as $32 billion in repurchases, jumping on a bandwagon that has already attracted nearly 500 U.S. companies, including industry leaders like Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), General Electric Co. (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Dec 19, 2013

Winnebago profit up 51 pct; revenues miss estimate

Dec 19 (Reuters) – Winnebago Industries Inc, the No.
1 U.S. motor home maker, reported a 51 percent jump in quarterly
profit on Thursday as strong demand for its new line of
lower-priced recreational vehicles prompted dealers to increase

But the company’s shares, which have more than doubled in
value over the past year, tumbled as much as 13 percent, pulled
down by softer-than-expected sales.

Dec 13, 2013

In U.S., natgas struggles as a transport fuel despite low cost

CHICAGO, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Don’t believe the gassy hype.

The United States may be floating on an ocean of cheap,
domestically sourced natural gas. But its transportation sector
is more reliant on diesel fuel – and is using less natural gas –
than it was in the 1960s and 1970s. And industry executives say
regulatory and logistical challenges and uncertainties make it
unlikely the picture will change anytime soon.

That may come as a surprise to many investors. Over the past
decade, energy companies using hydraulic fracturing and
horizontal drilling have unlocked huge gas deposits trapped in
rock thousands of feet underneath the United States.

Nov 27, 2013

Analysis: Whither U.S. manufacturing? BEA data provides clues

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. manufacturers are pumping money into domestic operations again, according to government figures. But their outlay on machines, plants and other long-term investments has not returned to pre-recession levels and has failed to translate into a significant rebound in industrial jobs.

The figures on so-called “capex” spending from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis offer a glimpse of the investment priorities of a sector that some argue is poised for growth after decades of contraction.

Nov 20, 2013

Deere offers upbeat 2014 forecast on construction rebound

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Deere & Co (DE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) offered an unexpectedly upbeat forecast for 2014 on Wednesday, saying sales of construction and forestry equipment should offset an anticipated slowdown in demand for agricultural machinery.

Shares in the world’s largest maker of tractors and harvesters rose nearly 4 percent in premarket trading as the company also reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

Nov 18, 2013

Fast-moving killer storm, tornadoes batter Midwest

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A fast-moving storm system triggered multiple tornadoes in Illinois and Indiana on Sunday, killing at least two people, injuring about 40 and flattening large parts of the city of Washington, Illinois as it crashed across the Midwest, officials said.

The storm created tornadoes in Bone Gap and Miller City, Illinois, in Mount Carmel, Noblesville and Vincennes in Indiana, and in Paducah, Kentucky, the National Weather Service said.